[TriLUG] AppleTV as MythTV Frontend
ken.mink at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 11:35:42 EDT 2008
Since I know there are a number of MythTV users here, I thought I'd
post about the status of a project I've been working on for a while.
Not long ago, I saw a note somewhere on the net about using an AppleTV
as a Mythzt frontend. I've been using MythTV for a number of years and
wanted a small, quiet frontend box the my bedroom. The AppleTV seemed
perfect for this.
Well, it's basically complete. Here's what I've got;
Stock AppleTV hardware
Fedora 8 running native with a custom kernel
NVidia proprietary video drivers(using HDMI for video out)
Stock MythTV rpms from atrpms.net
Custom compile of lirc for IR remote
So, how well does it work? It works very well. My MythTV backend uses
a PVR-500 for analog content and a HDHomerun for HD content. The
AppleTV has no problem playing either SD or HD. When playing HD
content, cpu usage is about 70%. It does use XvMC for HD, so there is
some stuttering when there is any OSD info displayed. This is a
problem with MythTV and XvMC and not unique to the AppleTV. I am not
using the Apple remote, but the same Harmony I use on my main FE/BE in
the living room. I need to pick up another remote. The MythTV frontend
is full featured and allows for playback, scheduling, etc.
The AppleTV has digital audio capabilities. I didn't have any use for
this feature, so I don't know if it's working. It should be, but I
haven't looked into it. The AppleTV also had built-in wireless. I also
haven't put any effort into it.
The one thing I'm missing is DVD playback. The AppleTV doesn't have an
optical drive. Since it's now running a standard linux distro, it
should be fairly easy to use an external DVD drive for DVD playback.
This is the next thing on the list.
If you're interested in going this route, you need to be comfortable with:
Patching and compiling kernels
Editing xorg.conf files
Patching, compiling and installing non-package software
Voiding warranties :)
Interesting Links for Linux on AppleTV:
I hope some one found this interesting. It was a real fun project that
has provided me with a real world benefit.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."--Benjamin Franklin
" 'Necessity' is the plea for every infringement of human liberty; it
is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."--William Pitt
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